Rising to the challenge

As tree limbs snapped under the weight of ice, it was pretty obvious the power could be out for quite some time.

Apart from a quick outage, Fergus residents were sheltered from the mayhem that befell neighbours elsewhere in Wellington County and across a swath of Ontario, reaching from here to Lake Huron.

Initial reports were not good. A series of poles sheared off in Mapleton Township near Arthur, downed limbs and trees snapping lines elsewhere, and hydro out on country roads with little immediate sign as to why. Elora as well as other towns and villages in north Wellington were in darkness.

It all added up to a sense of hopelessness and little in the way of answers as to how quickly power would be restored. Best guesses on the Hydro One website suggested Sunday evening most homes would have power again.

As residents scrambled to get sump pumps running and farmers hooked up generators to keep livestock watered and safe, the notion of Mother Nature’s fury and man’s reliance on electricity kicked in. We can’t do much without hydro.

All of us deal with struggles like this in different ways.

One option was to join friends who still had power until the worst was over. Many others decided to wait it out, using candles and wood stoves, making the best of the silence for a few hours. It’s amazing how quiet a home is when the power is out.

We could not help but think of the men and women who work for Hydro One or other local utilities as they manned machinery to clean up and restore power. The incredible hours and stamina power workers needed to keep going as the grid was re-energized was quite admirable.

The promise of power by Sunday for most of our readership was fulfilled.

On Tuesday afternoon pockets remained that were still waiting for help, but overall, the people who got things up and running quickly are owed gratitude for hanging in and getting the lights on again.

While the great ice storm of 2013 was a fairly modest event to what has happened elsewhere, it serves as a great reminder how essential utilities and electricity are.

We hope people will take a minute to thank hydro workers for rising to the challenge once again.


Imagine if you can, flags flapping and arms waving. “Mom or dad will soon be here,” a parent says to a child.

Then, without warning, a blast followed by a boom shattered that Norman Rockwell-type moment, turning cheers and joy into screams and hurt.

Participants in the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, held on Patriots Day this year, had no idea the morning of their run that spectators and fellow athletes would be witness to such carnage later that day. It gives cause to wonder.

Answers will flow in the coming days in terms of the responsible party and whether this terrorist act originated from abroad or was a homegrown action.

Regardless of the agent involved, it is hard to comprehend a mind that would revel in destruction and the maiming of others. It is unconscionable.

Regrettably, there are those amongst us who see satisfaction in striking fear and hurting others. How to heal those depraved hearts before disaster strikes remains the question.